Blood Tests in Newly Brain-Injured Patients Predict Death, Severe Disability; Tool May Inform Treatment Trajectory, Encourage More Aggressive Life-Saving Interventions in Some Cases

Blood tests taken within 24 hours of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) flag which patients are likely to die and which patients are likely to survive with severe disability, according to a study headed by UC San Francisco, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Michigan. Their test results--available within minutes--may confirm the need for prompt surgical interventions or may help guide conversations with families in cases of devastating injury. The tests, which detect two protein biomarkers, were cleared by the Food and Drug Administration in 2018 for use in determining which patients with mild TBI should undergo CT scans. High values of these biomarkers, GFAP and UCH-L1, correlate with death and severe injury, the authors state in their study publishing in The Lancet Neurology on August 10, 2022. The article is titled “Prognostic Value of Day-of-Injury Plasma GFAP and UCH-L1 Concentrations for Predicting Functional Recovery After Traumatic Brain Injury in Patients from the US TRACK-TBI Cohort: An Observational Cohort Study.”

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